Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume
I’m going to be honest, I hated Lancôme La Vie est Belle before ever trying it. Even though I try not to be, I can be extremely shallow and judgey. Everything about the marketing of La Vie est Belle gets on my nerves. The commercial with Julia Roberts may be one of the corniest perfume commercials of my adult life¹. This is slightly entertaining as I don’t expect Citizen Kane from a perfume commercial, but what really gets on my nerves are the blatant lies in the ad copy. Lancôme says this is the “first ever gourmand iris”. I’m not an expert of the history of iris gourmands but I immediately thought of Guerlain Iris Ganache (launched in 2007). I’m sure there are more that I’m unaware of, but that “first ever” really gets on my nerves. This alone made me hold a grudge against La Vie est Belle. My final grudge is that I tried La Vie est Belle and it’s arguably a gourmand but it’s definitely not an “iris gourmand”.
La Vie est Belle opens with juicy fruits, like a pear nectar and blackberry jam. The fruits aren’t fresh, they’re more like a confiture. The heart is a sweet floral. It’s like white florals dipped in sugary rock candy. I was hoping that I’d notice more iris. Take that back, I’d be happy to notice any iris in this. On me, it’s mostly “candied white florals” with the clean, indole-free jasmine being the most recognizable. The dry-down is a creamy praline custard with patchouli. Actually, this base reminds me of Mugler Angel Muse with much more patchouli (but not an original Angel amount of patchouli).
Anyway, La Vie est Belle reminds me a lot of Flowerbomb. When I’m wearing it, I don’t really think it’s a “dupe”, but it’s when I smell it on someone else or myself from a distance, I recognize similarities. There’s something in the way that La Vie est Belle wears that reminds me of Flowerbomb (which was launched in 2005). Since it’s a pretty standard progression of notes (fruits, flowers, gourmand grounded by patchouli – the ever popular “fruitichouli”), it reminds me of many popular scents from the past decade.
Notes listed include blackcurrant, pear, iris, orange blossom, jasmine, tonka bean, praline, patchouli and vanilla. Launched in 2012. PERFUMERS – Olivier Polge, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo
Give La Vie est Belle a try if you like fruitichoulis or sweeter, more gourmand perfumes. Or perfumes like Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, Mugler Angel Muse, Sofia Vergara Sofía, Guerlain Insolence, Hanae Mori Hanae, Dior Miss Dior (Cherie) and/or Van Cleef & Arpels Oriens. I cut this list short. I could go on and on.
Projection and longevity are average. Oh, I should note that I’m reviewing the EDP. I have not tried the EDT (or any of the flankers).
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Standard fruitichouli. It’s a pleasant fragrance, almost like a “Greatest Hits” of the past 15 years. It’s not something I see myself wearing but I like it better than I do Flowerbomb (which is truly terrible on my skin). La Vie est Belle is actually better than I expected (granted my initial pre-hate opinion was low). When I get in the mood to wear something fruity, sweet, syrupy and dense, I’m going to wear something like Mugler Angel Muse or something by Guerlain. Why? Because I already own those. We all probably already own something like La Vie est Belle (if we’ve even had a remote interest in perfume in the past decade).
¹If you want to see the commercial and the official copy, here’s the link. I also hate the “most precious natural ingredients” line in their copy that suggests this is a natural perfume, further confusing consumers.
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